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Manulife prices first green bond; S$500m of 12-year notes offer 3% coupon

MANULIFE Financial Corp has priced S$500 million of green bonds, a series of 3 per cent, 12-year notes whose proceeds the Canadian insurer will use for sustainable investments.

Manulife said that the bonds are the first green bond of benchmark size issued by a life insurance company.

The bonds will bear a fixed coupon for the first seven years, after which the coupon will be set at 0.832 per cent over the prevailing five-year Singapore dollar swap rate.

The notes mature on Nov 21, 2029 and the offering is expected to close on Nov 21, 2017.

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In-principle approval has been obtained from the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST) for the listing and quotation of the bond, the company said.

"As one of the world's largest life insurers, our success is linked to the long-term well-being of our customers, our employees and the communities we serve around the world," said Manulife's chief financial officer, Steve Roder.

"We are also a long-term investor which puts us in a unique position to help facilitate the transition to a more sustainable economy. Issuing a green bond aligns our financing with our existing green investment activities," he added.

DBS Bank, HSBC (Singapore) and Standard Chartered Bank have been appointed as joint lead managers for the offering.